Tag Archives: parenting

Has your adopted child started to ask hard questions?

Has your adopted child grown into a teenager and has started asking questions?

All of mine did.  All eight of them.

Each one, including all three sets of twins.

They all had their own perspectives and reasons for asking about birth families.

I have been blessed with three children from one birth family (singleton and a set of twins,) two sets of twins from another birth family, and one singleton from a different birth family.

Six came literally from the hospital, one set of twins came at twenty months of age.

Each outcome reaching out to three different birth families was different.

We really hoped they all would work out, but that, I guess, was not a reality for all of them.  All the outcomes were their choice.

But, do any of us regret reaching out?  No.

It put a lot into perspective for each of them individually.

We have recently done DNA for them with a well-known company.

The results were amazing!

My youngest four, two sets of twins, found a sister they never knew they had!  We visited and they are becoming acquainted with their younger sister.  They are lucky to have found all of their siblings.

My singleton found her birth family!  We had searched for her birth mother for years.  She is an adult now and is finding new relationships with her Nana, sisters, brothers and birth mom.

Time is the true teller of whether any or all of the relationships work, but I can tell you it does not take away from your relationship with your child.

They feel a sense of peace knowing where they came from and, for us, it did not change our relationships with our children.

If you are concerned about the questions your child is asking and would love to talk just click here, I would be happy to have a “coffee chat” on the phone with you.

One last note.  When your child begins to fly they always come back to the nest.

 

 

 

 

The Joys and Miracles in the Journey of Fostering and Adoption

Are you a foster parent?
Or maybe you have adopted?
We were foster parents and we have adopted.
Most of the time it’s very rewarding.
Just like having biologicals sometimes teens are challenging.
But yesterday the Ancestry DNA came back for our youngest four teens.
Two sets of twins, same biological mother.
And the joy was unbelievable.
Not only did we find that their paternal roots were exactly as I thought, but they found a new sister.
That led to a very long night of getting to know another wonderful mom who adopted their sister.
The face-time is set and the reunion with three adoptive families is set.
This is the joy beyond what you already have been given.
The extended family that has been found once again by the grace of God.
If you think you would like to foster a child or adopt, there are so many children waiting for their forever homes.
So many lost children in a world that has been unkind to them.
I love to encourage and help those families called to this amazing mission of fostering and adoption.  If you would like to know more please go here.
If you have adopted and would like to chat go here.
I am a life coach for foster and adoptive moms who are having a challenge with their child. 
They are struggling with behaviors, learning difficulties and doubt their ability to parent a needy child. 
I help them get them get back in charge of how to be the best parent for their child’s needs and regain confidence in themselves, and their abilities to be a foster and/or adoptive mom.

 

 

Autism.

 

Autism.

Sucks.

But does it?

I have two autistic children in my life.

One of my “New Thompsons'” and a grandchild.

My adopted child is now 19 plus and still struggles.

My grand child is just beginning, but has so many similarities.

Do you realize there is no educational system past elementary to address this issue in school, at least in Georgia?

Autism_does_not_go_away!  Just because we reached middle school!

Do you know the public school system does not address dyslexia as well?

Well I guess you don’t read for the rest of your life.

I have five dyslexic children.  My grand baby I suspect has this as well.

I was lucky enough to find an amazing Private Christian School that addressed dyslexia.

That was after I paid $1600 a month for my autistic dyslexic child to learn how to read.  The public system did not want, or even recognize, the issues my child had.

Shocking reality.  She passed kindergarten in public school, but she could not tell an “A” from a “B” nor a “7 ” from a “9”.  Ridiculous.

Was she smart?  Intelligent?  Oh My!!!

We call her the BPS, not the GPS because she could tell us directions to anywhere she had been once.  Genius.  She will never get lost directionally.

I think this is  ignorance about these issues as is our ignorance about the children who come into care every day.

There is much media about all sorts of stuff, but not about the children who need our help, our support and homes in some cases.

So, my grand baby will have a fierce advocate in his Grammy.  I will not ever let this go.

When will we stand for what is right?

I will.  Will you join me?

 

 

 

 

 

The Endless Seizure Disorder

I reposted about Epileptic seizures, cause now I have four kids, four different seizure disorders.  WOW!

We have Multi Focal, the most scary, Generalized, Tonic and Absence seizures.

And yet?  Life goes on.

Life is not filled with doubt, worry, or anxiety about someone having a seizure, as I know some other parents, and, epileptics are.

Epilepsy does not rule our household in any way, shape or form.

I could say that Autism tries to rule, but we believe we are the parents, even though sometimes, I want to go sit and cry in a corner.

When I became a foster parent, I did not want to foster anyone with anything like this, but, just as your own biological kids, sometimes they come with hidden stuff that shows up later.

Epilepsy showed up with my first biological when she was about twelve or thirteen hitting puberty.  Looking back it may have been what they now call “The Alice In Wonderland Syndrome.”

Alice in Wonderland syndrome is a disorienting neuropsychological condition that affects perception. People experience size distortion such as micropsia, macropsia, pelopsia, or teleopsia. Size distortion may occur of other sensory modalities.”

That is the technical description but what my eldest daughter experienced, was distortion in my size and closeness to her, along with how loud I was speaking.  She would go from thinking I was a giant to a dwarf in these episodes, and always thought I was yelling, when, as frightened as I was, that certainly was not the case.  She seemed to outgrow it, but at forty-four says when she is tired sometimes she has a mild version of this.  Now SHE WAS SCARY!

So, after having my younger sets of twins (related by birth mom) for seventeen and fifteen years, the diagnosis of each twin helped diagnose the others.

The grand mals’ were not as we are led to believe.  Each child has different Grand Mal seizures.

The last diagnosis of absence seizures was only found because of my then sixteen year old having an “out of the blue” seizure described in my former post.

I researched, well googled, cause google knows everything, about having seizures while sleeping.   Suddenly my child who could not stop bedwetting became obvious, which led to me demanding an EEG which proved he was having absence seizures.

All this to say, you are never alone and there is always help.

I am always here to talk, help in anyway.

Your child may not have epilepsy, but, dang I can tell you that is the least of what I have overcome with fostering and adopting children.

More of that to come.

Do you have something that you are seeing or “feeling in your gut” about your foster child?

Go here.

If you would like to read my first book about how we became foster/adoptive parents go here

 

 

The Struggle Is Real!

When you are a Foster Parent the struggle is REAL!

There are days when you feel immensely alone.

When you think you should give up.

When you think nothing is working with this particular child.

The thoughts of failure and wondering where to turn next, are real.

I remember when my first foster children came.  Twin boys, for the weekend.

They had clothes on that were too small, and held on tightly to their bottles, which looked grimy.

The stared almost vacantly at me as I pasted a smile on my face through the tears I was trying to hide.

They screamed every time I put them in a car seat, every time I put them in a bath, every time I went to change their diaper.

It was exhausting, and frustrating for all of us.

But even though it was hard work, those boys turned twenty-two last week.  Handsome young men.  It sure was a long week-end.

As a foster parent, or a foster to adopt parent, there will be struggles, but there will also be immense rewards.

I had a conversation with a client the other day, a foster parent, who was really doubting herself, but she had no need to do so.

Did she have a difficult child!  Yes, the struggle here was real!

Was she doing all the right things even though the child was protesting?

Absolutely!  She needed to be re-assured.  She needed to hear affirmation that “going with her gut” and being consistent in her parenting, really was working.

There are so many stories that are heartbreaking, yet end up be a joyful testimony to yet another young life turned around.

When children remain in the foster care system for years, or get bounced around from home to home, the statistics of failure for these children is very high.

Dave Thomas said, “it is better to build a child, than fix an adult.”

He was right.

Cycles of abuse and neglect can be broken.

Love can be restored, and build a child up instead of tearing that same child down.

Are you a foster parent?

Or are you thinking you might like to know more about foster parenting or foster to adopt a child?

I would love to give you a complimentary coaching session and answer some of your questions.  Go here!

Let’s continue to seek out and find the “lost children” in our world.

See you next blog!

The Joys and Challenges of The Foster/Adoptive Parent

Adopting eight kids is a joy!

Adopting eight kids is a challenge!

One set of twins is a joyful surprise!

Three sets of twins is a challenge!

But, do not get me wrong, all children bring joy!

All children bring challenges.

Adopted, fostered or biological.

My journey brought much joy and restoration to my life.

You see I lost an identical twin with my second pregnancy.

I was blessed with one of them, but was sad that I never conceived another set of twins.

I knew I was a twin mum.   So did God!  He sent three sets!

Often when there is an adoption through a private agency that turns out to be twins, it becomes a little unstable.

It is much harder to make the decision to adopt out two babies, over one, but, that is not always the case.

You see, my extended adopted family, was in exactly that position.

I did not know them at the time of the adoption, but, they were about to adopt twins from the same birth mother that two sets of my twins came from.  Whew, complicated.

What birth mum has three sets of twins!  Well, this one did.  Her first two sets came into foster care, where I became first their foster parent, and then their adoptive parent.  The second set are two and a half years younger than their older sisters, but, came to us because in the Foster system, they really do try to keep siblings together.

We were and are totally blessed.  Of course they are all now teenagers, and that, is another challenge, and story for another day.

The third set came along about eight years after my youngest.  By a miracle, and I do believe in miracles, we were connected with the new adoptive parents of these amazing little ones.  Birth mum had gone through an agency, and the parents were in an open adoption with her.

We all had this immediate extended family connection.  I will never forget our first adoptive mum to mom conversation.  It lasted for hours.  Today, we all keep in contact, have visited, and are overdue for a visit.  Hoping to correct that in the very near future.

Fostering is not for the feint of heart, but the joy is so rewarding.  And, if I had not fostered, I would not have my two singletons, and my three sets of twins.  All came through foster care, as infants.

All were new borns except my eldest boys who were twenty months old.

Don’t be afraid of fostering, your heart will mend, theirs will not; unless they find YOU, the home and mother they are meant to go to.

And last thing, do not put limits on God’s gifts to you.  You may want two children like I did, and He may call you to more.

Please accept my complimentary gift of a free coaching session here.

And please accept this gift of our Ten Layers Of Swiss Cheese orTen Tools For Foster/Adoptive Parents here.

You may have questions.  Please go here for my story in the book “Is Eight Enough.”

See you on the call!

My child I fostered from a broken adoption that put him on the streets of Liberia with no family, no home, no love and no comfort.  If you want to read his story go here.

ps.  He had the most horrific accident just about a year ago.

pps.  He fully recovered miraculously.

ppps.  God saved him twice from the jungle of Africa, He didn’t give up.  He saved him again.  Go here for his story.

My family!  Blessed!

 

Is Being a Foster Parent Right For Me?

What is being a foster parent like?

I asked the same question.

How can you know though without trying?

You can’t.  (Keep reading for the special offer!)

You find you have this desire or passion but are wary about acting on it.

I did too.

I was positive I was not going to foster.  I was only going to adopt.

I would have missed out on a world of surprises and deep gratification.

But I didn’t have any clue about what it was really like going through the classes.

Oh, I knew enough, but not enough to make me step up.

I only stepped up because of an urgent phone call late on a Friday afternoon, when the “yes” came out of my mouth before I knew it.

But, those identical twin boys turned twenty one last birthday.  If I had not fostered them, they would not be my sons today.

In fact all eight of my adopted children came as foster children.  I would have none of them if I had not been a foster parent.  And, maybe, their siblings would not have had the opportunity to be adopted into the same family.   Not everyone wants to adopt eight kids, but if you cannot afford enormous adoption fees, fostering to adopt is a wonderful experience.

Even though I sort of stumbled into fostering, I loved every minute.  I would love to share my story with you.

If you are interested, or feel fostering to adopt is something you would like to explore get a free copy of my book, ” Is Eight Enough” here!
Would love your feedback.  Feel free to contact me on FB here!

Cheers!

When you are burned and want to give up……..


You finally got a child, a foster child.

You’ve never had a child of your own, or, your passion to have one is intense.

It’s a small, helpless child.

You got all the information and your head is reeling.

This child needs a home and ours has been chosen.

You love unconditionally.

You let down all your barriers.

Your heart is ruling your head.

And, bam.  There comes a relative, mom or dad.  From nowhere.  One who you think is not fit.

In your heart, this child is yours.

You cannot think of any good qualities this relative may have.

You can only see what you can give.

Familiar?

There are so many more scenarios of this same outcome, but all end in the same way.  The child goes to a relative that you, in YOUR heart, deem to be less than what you can give.

In my case, it was another home that was willing to take four children who I deemed not yet ready to be re-united.  Was I right?  Was I wrong?  I don’t know.  I do know that child contacted me years later and I am still in contact.  Should I have raised her?  The jury is out on that one, because, if she had stayed I would not have the kids I do have.

But, I know of, have known, and do know, foster parents who wanted to adopt and gave up because their hearts were “broken”.”

If this relates to you, I have a word of wisdom for you.

If you truly want to be a parent, and adoptive parent, and want to foster to adopt, the road is rocky at least.

But IT IS WORTH IT!

I would like to encourage you to not give up.  I am blessed beyond measure, but it was not an easy, smooth road without obstacles, worries or doubts.  It was a rocky road.  A rocky road that lead to  blessing for all of us.

We came so close to not having our wonderful sixteen year old twins, but we believed beyond measure, and they stayed.  They brought their half twin sister and brother.  Unmeasurable joy, but not without the fight, the prayers, the belief, and the staying power.

I wish I had someone back then who could have helped me, understood, listened, encouraged, and led me to make better decisions for myself, and my family.

If this tugs at your heart, then I have another alternative.

Once upon a time we all went back in time, but, if you want to go forward, are ready to go forward, leave behind the stuff and are truly ready to explore your options about adopting from being a foster parent, or just leaping out to foster a child, then I have a great offer for you.

You see, I was you once.  But now, I am a double certified life coach, a foster mum of about fifty odd kids, and an adoptive mum of eight, including three sets of twin, with all eight being special needs.

I want to be your HELP in times of doubt, struggle and trouble.

If you need to talk, well you can for free.  I will give you as much time as you need to see if we are a fit, a match, and if I can help help you in your journey.

Just go here, click, sign up on your email and I will respond.  No questions, no commitments.  Just a free talk with someone who has been in your shoes, and has weathered the system.

I so look forward to helping you on this amazing journey, one I know is worth the rocks and hard places to get where you belong.  With your child.

When The Honeymoon is over……what next?

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This morning I needed a plumber.

This morning my plumber needed me.

Why?

My plumber had been together with his partner for nineteen years with no children.

Three months ago, he took home his niece and nephew with guardianship, because their drug addicted mother could no longer care for them.

One month ago, being compassionate, caring and trying to do the right thing, he tried to  “help” their mother.

All chaos broke out.

He does not understand why his efforts to be kind and caring are backfiring.

A few questions and he answered all his own questions.

You see, you cannot change anyone, including a 32 year old addict.

All of your best efforts to do so will fall on deaf ears.

Change can only come from within.

But, children, can be changed and guided by love, understanding, and building trust with them.

The change still comes from within them, but is guided by parents, guardians, foster parents, those that are sent to guide them, lead them, and love them.

Children are still forming their minds and patterns even in the midst of chaos.

They are looking for a hero, someone who will love them regardless.

They will push every boundary, and test you to the limit.

They may have seen too much, but, given the right guidance, counsel, and wise counsel, they will survive and overcome.

In my personal experience, I cannot change the addict, they can only change themselves, with professional help.

Again, in my personal experience, I can help the child to embrace a different life by providing the right counsel, opportunities, understanding and love.  Tough love at times, but love.

Love alone does not work.  Prayer, followed by hard work and dedication do have an effect.

Just as in marriages, honeymoons end, and, real life begins.  When the honeymoon ends, that’s when we see the real picture, and know just where to go, what to adjust, and if we do have the stamina and tolerance to ride this relationship to it’s fruition.

I could have left my marriage many times when things did not go my way.  I could have walked from relationships with my children when times got tough, and I could have walked from my relationship with my elderly mother when times got to be outrageous.

But, a relationship, has two sides.  Yours and theirs.  I choose to sculpt my side of any relationship in the form I want and need it to be.  It rubs off if it is done with the right attitude and the right heart.

So, in the case of my plumber, he wants to talk with me a whole lot more because his mind gained a new clarity after our “conversation” or impromptu coaching session.  He went from being the victim, to understanding the real victim, the child.

He went from feeling hurt, to understanding the hurt from the child.  He left not feeling hurt from words said from a thirteen year old child, but empowered knowing he can stand on the other side and help the child without getting his feelings hurt.

I leave you with this.  No child needs to be left behind if our thoughts are captured, looked at really hard, and understand that we will survive, but if we take offense from a child who has been abused and neglected, we are not helping anyone, including ourselves.
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When You Never Give Up

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I never give up.

When I know deep inside that I am supposed to do something, I do it.

My child Friday is like that.

He has a long story that no child should have to ever endure.

But he did, and he never gave up.  Neither did I.

Short synopsis.  He was adopted from a Liberian orphanage at around eight years of age.

He was sent back by his adoptive parents to Liberia five years later.

Illegal by anyone’s standards.

Lots of red tape, custody papers, a flight to get him and he came back.  Became a part of our family.  He is third from the left, in the front row, in the photo above.

Tough few years getting him educated, helping him through his fear, anger, resentment, abandonment issues, rejection and trying to teach him to love.

Still fighting the rules and the systems, he did get graduated and got his drivers license.  He was free!

He has “lived” his life over the last couple of years experiencing failure, tough times, hard decisions and finding his place.

He has kept in touch, especially in the moments where, he was living in his car in California and needing to get home, when he just needed to know I was there, the occasional comment on social media, but I knew where he was, and most importantly, he knew where I was.

Then shocking news.  He was in a serious car accident, barely hanging on to life for several days.  A “miracle” he was alive.  I had to choke back tears when I saw him.  On a breathing machine, his left ear swollen from being stitched back to his head, the intubation, the distortion from swelling, the tubes everywhere including the top of his head to relieve the fluid.

But, he is a fighter, and he has a purpose in this world.  I knew from the moment I heard that I would start fighting in the spiritual world for his total recovery.

I experienced his fight in the spiritual, and I knew he would not give up.  I had a peace, a peace that passes all understanding that he would be not just ok, but totally himself.

Brain trauma is a scary thing, he has a road ahead, but not one he will not conquer.

He is one state away from me, so I drive every week to see him.  Tomorrow I drive and I get to see him awake, just three weeks after this terrible accident.

If you would like to know his story you can buy my book, “Finding Friday”  here.

You can find his song, “Run To”  on my cd “Broken Hearts And Broken Wings” here.  These are songs related to fostering and adoption.

Sign up for my emails and you can follow his amazing progress!

And, p.s.  Please like my FB page “Finding Friday” here and “The Adoption Thing” FB page here.

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